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Imagine the excitement when Henry Ford came to the small rural village of Saline to restore the dilapidated Schuyler flour mill. People thought he had totally lost his mind!! But, like all entrepreneurs, Ford had his own unique vision: to merge urban factories with rural farming through a little-known and unused crop, the soybean. To implement his wild idea, he paid over 700 farmers in the Saline area to grow soybeans. The farmers then trucked their crops here to be refined into soybean oil for the production of plastics and paints for auto manufacturing. This simple idea forever changed the face of industry and farming. In fact, soybeans are once again on the front burner as a possible source and solution for our energy problems.
Ford was drawn here because of it's location on a river. He produced electricity by diverting the river to create a dam-millpond, and installed a waterwheel. Engineers still marvel at the beauty of Ford's futuristic dream and he is known throughout the industrial world for his innovative use of organic products in industry..
When Carl & Iris Weller purchased this property in 1966, the buildings & property were in total disrepair. But the Ford remnants unearthed in the buildings, the 10-acre setting and the underlying natural beauty of the buildings, sparked a flame that still burns bright in them today. With the combined efforts of, Judy & Wendy Weller, and scores of hardworking friends & employees, 38-years of effort resurrected this mesmerizing page in history. Their story is a testament to American hard work and ingenuity. We thank all the people who helped along the way. Wellers' is now on the National Register of Historic Buildings.